Carel Bitter updates us on Spamhaus, botnet C&C, and criminal domain name usage trends

Carel Bitter is Head of Data at Spamhaus. I was fortunate to interview him last year for the iQ Podcast #5: “How Spamhaus addresses DNS Abuse.” It’s still worth checking out if you missed it!

And last month, I was delighted to catch up again with Carel, this time in person while attending Nordic Domains 2022 in Stockholm. I asked him to spare 25 minutes to provide us with an update on Spamhaus’ DNS abuse fighting activities among other topics, such as:

  • The latest in cyber threats that they track
  • Regulatory interest observations, and related reports on domain abuse
  • Criminal domain name usage trends that propagate phishing, malware, and botnets
  • The issues of trust, authenticating users
  • How botnet command and control points work
  • Potential threats due to the war in Ukraine

In addition to subscribing/following and listening wherever you get your podcasts, you can also listen to this interview via the Alexa Home Assistant.

Just say: “Alexa, play iQ Global Podcast, Episode 17.”

You can also listen via iQ’s YouTube channel:

Graeme Bunton talks about the DNS Abuse Institute & NetBeacon

This iQ Podcast emanates from being able to meet up last month in Stockholm during Nordic Domain Days 2022 with domain name industry veteran Graeme Bunton, who is the inaugural Director of PIR’s DNS Abuse Institute (DNSAI).

The DNSAI is planning to publicly launch NetBeacon (a centralized abuse reporting tool) in early June. [UPDATE: It is now launched at NetBeacon.org] So I thought it was an ideal opportunity to sit down with Graeme for 20 minutes to learn more about the DNSAI’s mission, their NetBeacon tool, and other initiatives they are working on to assist the industry in fighting DNS abuse.

Graeme was formerly Head of Policy at Tucows, one of the world’s largest domain registrars. And many in the industry will recall that he was chair of the Registrar Stakeholder Group and served as co-chair of both the RRSG Abuse Working Group and the Contracted Party Abuse Working Group. On top of all that, Graeme was one of the driving forces in the creation of the Framework to Address Abuse, which has more than 50 registry and registrar signatories.

In addition to subscribing/following and listening wherever you get your podcasts, you can also listen to this interview via the Alexa Home Assistant.

Just say: “Alexa, play iQ Global Podcast, Episode 16.”

You can also listen via iQ’s YouTube channel:

Industry chat with Michele Neylon

Many of us in the domain or hosting industries are social animals. As online as we are, some of us still crave in-person interaction, and just getting out and about around the world in order to “make things happen.”

Two years have passed due to you-know-what. However last month I finally had my very first industry face-to-face, with someone that was not from iQ!

Amazing!

How refreshing it was to talk some “shop” with Michele Neylon, who is the CEO and Founder of Blacknight, a 100% Irish-owned and based in Ireland ICANN accredited registrar and hosting company.

Michele and CTO/co-founder Paul Kelly were gracious and proud to show off their office headquarters and hosting premises that they completely renovated and upgraded just before the pandemic struck.

Afterward, I sat down with Michele for a nice proper face-to-face chat. Something you just can’t replicate on Zoom.

Michele is well known in ICANN and internet policy development circles, and quite active on social media. If you’ve been following him you know he doesn’t hold back on his opinions.

We covered a lot, and whether you watch the video or listen to the podcast, you can easily navigate to whatever topic interests you.

Everything from how Blacknight weathered the pandemic, how “return to work” is going, domains, opportunistic vs. abusive registration, comments on the EU study on DNS Abuse, alternative roots/blockchain tech/Web3, new gTLDs, the “second round”, what he looks for when a TLD approaches for promos and marketing, NIS2, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, and more.

In addition to subscribing and listening wherever you get your podcasts, you can also listen to the interview via the Alexa Home Assistant.

Just say: “Alexa, play iQ Global Podcast, Episode 15.”

A Female Perspective on the Domain Industry

Mou Mukherjee is an industry veteran and a friend who is Head of Registry Services at .CLOUD, which is an iQ customer.

I originally approached Mou about doing an interview for the iQ Podcast on the successes and challenges of running a new gTLD registry. At some point during our initial conversation, I recall Mou mentioning her unique experience of “being a woman of color, born in India, raised in Canada, working for an Italian company, and doing business in China.”

That’s when it hit me. “Mou, I think you have an amazing story to tell that will inspire and help others! We should do an interview that speaks to this! (The irony of me being a male suggesting and then conducting this interview is not lost!)

So this interview is a bit of a departure from the usual. We spend the first half of the discussion going through Mou’s early days in the industry, and then her observed successes and challenges of running a registry, etc. The last half is all about her lived experience as a female in the domain industry.

Thank you Mou for opening up the door a bit to your amazing story.

In addition to subscribing and listening wherever you get your podcasts, you can also listen to the interview via the Alexa Home Assistant.

Just say: “Alexa, play iQ Global Podcast, Episode 14.

A major upgrade for a tool helping to fight abuse and build a safer internet

I’m pleased to announce a major, significant abuse management tool upgrade, from all of us at iQ, that helps in fighting abuse and building a safer internet. iQ Abuse Manager v2!

It’s designed for domain name registries, back-end RSPs, registrars, hosting companies, domain administrators, DNS Slave Server Providers, and SaaS platforms.

There’s way more to show than what the below overview video touches on. Please contact me if you’d like a full demo. Otherwise set up a free 14-day trial now and test it yourself. It takes less than 5 minutes to get going.

How .BANK addresses the Cybersecurity Problem

We’re all aware of ongoing cybersecurity problems these days. Who hasn’t received a suspicious phishing email or link that if clicked could end up turning over your personal information and passwords to criminals?  Almost no domain extension is completely safe from this and other forms of abuse.  Many consumers are not completely aware of how to protect themselves or what trust signals to look for when doing business online.

The vast increase in demand for digital products and services, especially as a result of the pandemic, was not lost among the founders or the .bank domain extension. Just as .edu is only for schools, and .gov is only for .government, .bank is only for verified banks.

It’s super restricted and has layers of cybersecurity requirements for its registrants. Watch or listen to this latest iQ Podcast episode and learn more about the .bank story, and how they are making the internet a safer place for banks and their customers.

If you could fix one thing on the Internet, what would it be?

The Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) is the world’s largest international coalition fighting Internet crime with cooperation from industry, government and law-enforcement sectors, and NGO communities.

The APWG’s Co-Founder and Secretary-General, Peter Cassidy, is one of the world’s foremost experts in digital security and fighting cybercrime. Without a doubt one of the most illuminating and brilliant minds I’ve ever had the pleasure of connecting with in recent years.

In our 10-minute podcast, Peter opines as to why fighting abuse is important, his involvement in creating STOP. THINK. CONNECT. ™, what Job #1 should be for companies looking to improve their cybersecurity, and, if he could fix one thing on the Internet, what would it be?

Abuse & Brand Protection Trends in African TLDs

From my post on the iQ blog:

We’re all back from our summer vacations and once again busy producing new video interviews and podcasts with a variety of industry experts for your viewing and listening pleasure in the upcoming weeks and months!

To that end, I spoke recently with Daniel Greenberg, who is the Director, CEO, and Founder of Lexsynergy, a UK-based domain management and online brand protection specialist registrar with additional offices in Ireland, the USA, South Africa, and Australia. Some in our industry refer to such registrars as “corporate registrars.”

I’ve known Daniel and his company for several years, and from conversations at various industry events was aware of their particular expertise in dealing with African TLDs. (e.g. .ml – Mali; .ga – Gabon). As we are receiving abuse reports from our sources for a select group of African TLDs, I thought it would be a good time to catch up with Daniel and get his take on the latest concerning Internet usage, brand and IP protection issues, and abuse in African TLDs.

Just want to listen? Here’s the podcast version:

Update on Spamhaus, botnet C&C, & criminal domain name usage trends | Guest: Carel Bitter iQ Global Podcast

EPISODE 17: Pinky Brand, SVP at iQ, speaks with Carel Bitter, Head of Data at Spamhaus, about the latest in cyber threats that they track, regulatory interest observations, and related reports on domain abuse. We learn about criminal domain name usage trends that propagate phishing, malware, and botnets. We also discuss the issues of trust, authenticating users, how botnet command and control points work, and potential threats due to the war in Ukraine. This interview was recorded live in person on 9 May 2022 during Nordic Domain Days in Stockholm, Sweden. https://iq.global/
  1. Update on Spamhaus, botnet C&C, & criminal domain name usage trends | Guest: Carel Bitter
  2. DNS Abuse Institute & NetBeacon | Guest: Graeme Bunton
  3. Industry Chat | Guest: Michele Neylon
  4. A Female Perspective on the Domain Industry | Guest: Mou Mukherjee
  5. What's new with Abuse Manager v2.0 | Guest: LG Forsberg

Premium Domain Names | A .cloud & European perspective

I had the pleasure of speaking recently with Shaun Wilkinson, who is an industry friend and a customer (.cloud is a customer of iQ) regarding the development and brokering of premium domain name inventory from a registry operator point of view, specifically his experience as Head of Premium Names at .cloud, and how the pandemic and cloud computing sector is affecting naming trends.

Until we connected for this interview, I didn’t realize that Shaun speaks six languages! He is from England, lived in Italy, and now resides in Germany, and thus brings a European perspective to the new gTLD market.

Another interesting tidbit about Shaun: He founded and runs an official charity, the Hope Children’s Center, which supports and maintains schools in poor areas of Kenya. If you’ve attended domain or hosting industry events you’ve probably heard about it. However, in case you haven’t, we spend the last five minutes learning more about this wonderful cause.

Just want to listen? Here’s the podcast version:

https://podcast.iq.global/episode/premium-domain-names-a-cloud-european-perspective-guest-shaun-wilkinson

I&JPN Toolkit: DNS Level Action to Address Abuses

In this video interview and podcast for iQ, I spoke with Elizabeth Behsudi about the recently published I&JPN Toolkit on Domain Name System (DNS) Level Action to Address Abuses.

This new resource intends to support domain name system operators in the design of their DNS abuse-related activities, notifiers in the detection and reporting of problematic activity within the DNS, as well as legislators, and law enforcement to determine procedures for dealing with different types of DNS Abuse.

I had the opportunity to learn more about all of this by speaking with Elizabeth Behsudi, who is the Director of the Domains & Jurisdiction Program, and Secretariat at the I&JPN. Please have a watch or a listen!

Just want to listen? Here’s the podcast version:

https://podcast.iq.global/episode/ijpn-toolkit-dns-level-action-to-address-abuses-guest-elizabeth-behsudi